10 Weeks Into This Frugal Lifestyle

10 weeks since I made the Mental and Emotional Seachange Style Eccentric Decision or (M.E.S.S.E.D) to throw in my job and head metaphorically to the beach. I’m doing surprisingly better than I thought I would. I was frightened that my “chase the joy in life” phase may be just a passing mood. I was fully ready to accept the fact that I may get bored and head back to work. But, no….. the great social experiment continues and {shock, horror} the joy factor remains. Can it be that the joy from simple living is ongoing? Will I continue to experience the joy ? I’ll keep you posted!

What has changed so far in my simple, joy-filled lifestyle? Many of these changes have been implemented over the past few years, but NEVER have they had so much importance.

Before, sure, I would cook when the spirit was with me, but now I HAVE to cook so the children have something to eat when they get home from school. I HAVE to bake bread because otherwise we won’t have any ( …logical!......) I HAVE to grow veggies because we live 16 hours drive from the nearest store and the plane with supplies only comes once a month. Okay, that last statement may be stretching it a little, but my point is that I really enjoy doing these things and I love the fact that there is a degree of importance and reliance on these tasks being done.

I have noticed that the weather has become a MAJOR discussion point in our lives. We had always joked that in the older generation weather was the topic of choice in any given situation. Days were heralded as good or bad depending on the temperature, time the sun rose, whether there was a slight breeze and what time the sun started to go down. Sometimes there was much discussion about the link between the weather and the drying of the clothes. You know, “I had to get the washing out early because you have to get it in by two because it starts to get cold again’. Then there was “ I put the washing out by 7 and it was dry by 8”
Now Hubbie and I are becoming 1940s pensioners who are obsessed with the weather. We look outside and say “ good dryin’ day honey” or “this rain will be good for the radishes”. It makes me laugh because suddenly, there is such a connection with mother nature and the all important weather.

Since the M.E.S.S.E.D I have realized how important it is to have SKILLS. I have great skills in some areas but am completely lacking in others. This is a problem throughout my generation. Our mums burnt their bras and went to work, which was good in so many ways, but there was no-one with apron springs strings left that we could hang onto and learn by osmosis all the things that are required to be frugal and self sufficient. I am really regretting that I didn’t pay more attention to Sister Mary Martin during my sewing classes in year seven. If only I knew that I would really need those skills one day. At least she was able to teach me one thing – how to sew a good apron, and to date, that is the only REAL success I have had with sewing. Last week however, I did hand sew a felt pocket for my son’s IPOD and {God love the gorgeous child} at the age of ten…. he REALLY loved it. I will have to sew him some more felt features before he grows out of this phase and is too embarrassed to be seen with me in public!

There has been a major break through on the coffee front. As you may recall, one of my greatest concerns about commencing this social experiment was whether or not I would be able to continue to enjoy my signature coffee, a vanilla latte on skim. Last month when visiting friends in Sydney I noted that they were producing a mighty fine home brewed coffee. I had virtually decided that I would have to get a machine at home ( there I was trying to keep up with them and their surname isn’t even Jones). When I got home I remembered that about five years ago I got a free coffee machine when I subscribed to Family Circle magazine. ( Imagine how good it must have been) At the time I had a bit of a go, but couldn’t really work it and I put it in a cupboard in the shed and slowly spread all the attachments around the house. ( you know how you have that drawer in the office that has three dead batteries, two rubber bands, a deflated old balloon and the internal cup off the old coffee machine). So I made the decision that before I looked for one I would try this one out. After some searching through the drawers I found all the pieces and, with the help of some vanilla syrup I am now pumping out a pretty smooth, fair trade, organic, vanilla latte on skim. It’s as good as my favourite independently owned coffee shop in town, but…… added to the joy factor involved…… it’s a close second!

And so continues the journey to a more simple, frugal life. One step in front of the other, three steps forward, two steps back.


gary said...


Good news about home-made coffee.

I'm starting to pay more attention to the weather, too. Bought a rain gauge earlier this week and am on the lookout for a max-min thermometer. They are sure signs of the move to understanding where food comes from, how it grows better, and how the seasons (both of weather and life) work.

Glad you're still MESSED up.

Regards, Gary

libby said...

It's so great that you're enjoying your new life. I love being a SAHM. Unfortunately i can't sew. everytime I sign up to do a class it gets cancelled cause there is not enough interest. I'm thinking I'm going to have to teach myself.
Glad you found a coffee you like that you can make at home. My dh recently bought a nespresso machine and he's in love with it. Says it's much better than the expensive coffee machine at work. I'm a tea girl so I wouldn't know.


Kez said...

You sound happy. I'm so pleased for you!

Unknown said...

Bravo! I think that if you can last this long, forever doesn't seem so long at all.

BM, you are doing a great job, and I would agree with the 1940's thing. Kim and I feel the same way most of the time. Baking the daily loaf, because we refuse to buy the supermarket rubbish and would starve without it, vegies because we can, and very soon chooks for eggs only. Plus baking and cooking all meals.

Love your blog! I love talking about the weather, because when you are in touch with Mother Nature, you have to know what she is up to!

Minni Mum said...

Great work M! I too wish I'd paid more attention to people who could have helped learn the skills I'm trying to teach mty self now, but no one could have convinced me at the time that I would ever want or need them... I was all "Hello! I'm going to be a professional, I can *pay* to have someone do all that for me!". Funny how things change.

I love your acronym too by the way, it cracks me up ;-)

Cheers, Julie

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